Fire bosses have announced a partial U-turn in the dispute over fire cover in Corby.
The town had been set to lose one of its two appliances in plans announced last year, which would have been replaced with a hi-tech Cobra Intervention Vehicle.
However, in fresh plans announced earlier today (Thursday) Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said that it would be replacing one of the full-time crews with a retained crew.
The new arrangement means the Corby station will be manned by one full-time crew, a Cobra Intervention Vehicle and one retained crew.
Corby MP Andy Sawford said: “The people of Corby were strongly opposed to the County Council’s plan to cut one of the two fire engines serving the town and surrounding area.
“Today’s announcement of a big U-turn by the County Council is a big win for people power.
“Thanks to everyone who took action by signing the petitions, responding to the consultation and also the 200 people who contributed to my speech in Parliament.
“I have been very critical of the county council over the way this has been handled but I am pleased that they have listened to people and I think we should acknowledge that.
“I have spoken to the local Fire Brigades Union this afternoon. There are still concerns about the details behind the proposed changes, particularly the reduction of the number of whole time firefighters.”
The new proposals will be discussed by county councillors at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday, February 10.
County councillor André González de Savage said: “We recognise that there is a need to provide enhanced fire cover in the growing town of Corby and the surrounding area.
“This new model will enable us to increase capacity and staffing levels in the area while making good use of the fantastic new technology at our disposal and achieving financial savings for the brigade.
“This also demonstrates that we have listened to the people of Corby and taken their views on board as we seek to create a fire service that is ready to deal with the volume and type of emergency calls facing the brigade today and in the future.”
The county council says the new model would increase the number of firefighters available to respond to a call from 12 to 21.